Ok, I have to say right now that 2010 has become one of the best years for new music in a very long time. This is now an age where the leak date is more important/noteworthy/exciting than an album’s release date. An album’s official release date in merely the first opportunity to legally purchase an album. In most cases we have listened to the album a good 20 times or so by that date, and have made up the decision as to whether or not it deserves to be purchased. Usually on Vinyl or special edition.
In this case, it has been a great week. In the last little bit there have been some major leaks. Some albums that I have been looking forward to for the last 6 months. Some recent favs are the black keys, Kate Nash, Gaslight Anthem, Jamie Lidell, minus the bear, foals, The New Pornographers, Crystal Castles, and most notably, The National.
Ever since their amazing album “Boxer” clicked with me, I have been waiting for this album. And it does not let down. Like “Boxer” it is an album that begs to be listened to outside on warm summer evening. It is rarely in your face and rarely out of your head. The arrangements are pure National with extra flourishes, and Matt Berninger’s vocals and lyrics are brilliantly anthemic whilst remaining understated.
This is an album that will be battling for album of the year, and will likely go down as one of the National’s top albums at the end of their career (which better not be for a very very long time). Standout tracks are the opener “Terrible Love”, the follower “Sorrow”, “Afraid of Everyone”, “Bloodbuzz Ohio”, “Conversation 16”, and “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks”. But wait, I just listed 6 of 11 tracks. I know. And I feel bad for not listing the other 5. Honestly, there are no duds, and the other 5 tracks will likely be the standouts for me next week. It’s just that good. So preorder the vinyl, and have a listen to the entire album for free over here at the NY times site for the next 4 days.